Food Additives

This chart is a quick reference to help you decide whether you want to really eat something with this ingredient in it or other information that would be of interest to the religious community. There has been a lot of talk lately about what we eat that may not even be considered food, so this chart is to help clear up those unfamiliar ingredients that you may encounter and wonder about whether or not they are save or religiously allowed (or even healthy).

Click on the button by each entry for information about the explanation, information, or harmful effects of the specific entry.
purple = Religious Information blue = Holy or Kosher Concerns green = Safe with Good Nutrition orange = Potentially Harmful red = Unhealty or Hazardous
Health Kosher Ingredient Intended Purpose Significant Info References and Links
red blue Aspartame (APM) APM, Aspartame is a methyl ester of the aspartic acid/phenylalanine dipeptide and is used as an artificial sweetener. Because its breakdown products include phenylalanine, aspartame must be avoided by people with the genetic condition phenylketonuria (PKU). Discussion on Safety and Health Effects. Wikipedia:Aspartame
red purple Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) BHA, is an antioxidant and a [derivative] preservative used in food, food packaging, animal feed, cosmetics, rubber, petroleum products, and medicines. The US National Institutes of Health report that BHA is reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen and The State of California, has, however, listed it as a carcinogen. Wikipedia:Butylated_hydroxyanisole
orange Disodium Guanylate Flavor Enhancer to provide the umami taste. Produced from dried fish or dried seaweed and metabolized to purines. Wikipedia:Disodium_guanylate
green blue Disodium Inosinate Flavor Enhancer to provide the umami taste. Produced from meat or fish and alternatively from tapioca starch. Disodium inosinate may not be suitable for vegans and vegetarians, and in most cases not suitable for observant Jews, Muslims, and Sikhs, depending on the origin of the product. Wikipedia:Disodium_inosinate
green Maltodextrin Sweetener usually effectively gluten-free unless noted, also increases specific gravity of beer products. A polysaccharide that is enzymatically derived from any starch. Wikipedia:Maltodextrin
red purple Palm Oil Common cooking ingredient, buoyed by its lower cost and the high oxidative stability. Palm oil, palm kernel oil and coconut oil are three of the few highly saturated vegetable fats and is semi-solid at room temperatures. Documented as a cause of substantial and often irreversible damage to the natural environment. Documented as promoting heart disease, and results in adverse changes in the blood concentrations of LDL cholesterol and apolipoprotein B just as trans fat does according to the National Institutes of Health and the USDA Agricultural Research Service. Wikipedia:Palm_oil
orange Potassium Chloride Potassium is vital in the human body, and oral potassium chloride is the common means to replenish it, although it can also be diluted and given intravenously. Potassium is essential to the human body but orally, potassium chloride is toxic in excess (a lethal dose for 50% of people weighing 75 kg (165 lb) is about 190 g (6.7 ounces), and intravenously, this is reduced to just over 30 mg/kg) with other complications in heart and other muscles. Wikipedia:Potassium_chloride
red purple Sodium Triphosphate (STP, sometimes STPP or sodium tripolyphosphate or TPP) It is produced on a large scale as a component of many domestic and industrial products, especially detergents. Environmental problems associated with eutrophication are attributed to its widespread use. As an ingredient of household cleaning products, STPP present in domestic waste waters is mainly discharged to the aquatic compartment, directly, via waste water treatment plants, via septic tanks, infiltration or other autonomous waste water systems as it is very water-soluble. wikipedia:Sodium_Triphosphate
red purple Tertiary Butylhydroquinone (TBHQ) TBHQ, a type of phenol and is a highly effective antioxidant. In foods, it is used as a [derivative] preservative for unsaturated vegetable oils and many edible animal fats, also used industrially as a stabilizer and a corrosion inhibitor. The FDA sets an upper limit of 0.02% of the oil or fat content in foods. At higher doses, it has some negative health effects on lab animals, such as producing precursors to stomach tumors and damage to DNA. A number of studies have shown that prolonged exposure to high doses of TBHQ may be carcinogenic. Wikipedia:TBHQ
green purple Tocopherol (TCP) Vitamin E activity in many of this class of organic chemical compounds consisting of various methylated phenols. Vitamin E can act as an anticoagulant and may increase the risk of bleeding problems in extremely high doses. Wikipedia:Tocopherol
red purple Trisodium Phosphate (TSP) The major use for trisodium phosphate is in cleaning agents. TSP is still in common use for the cleaning, degreasing and deglossing of walls prior to painting. Most often found in white powder form, it can also be called trisodium orthophosphate or just plain sodium phosphate. Trisodium phosphate was at one time extensively used in formulations for a wide variety of consumer grade soaps and detergents, but ecological problems have largely ended that practice, at least in the western world. Wikipedia:Trisodium Phosphate


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